The Unknown Country, Canada and Her People

By Bruce Hutchison | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FIVE
Three o'Clock, Ottawa Time

At three in the afternoon the bells of the Ottawa carillon cease their wild play in the Victory Tower. For an hour or so they have sent hymns, anthems, and old-time airs rolling down the valley of the river. Now they turn to the serious business of sounding the hour, obedient to the moon-faced clock above them.

Three o'clock and Canadian democracy goes to work. Three o'clock and the last cabinet minister (having missed his lunch, as usual) hurries over from the East Block with a worried look. Three o'clock and the Speaker of the Commons, in threecornered hat, flowing robe and silk knee breeches, parades in dismal procession down the marble corridors with his clerks, his sergeant-at-arms, gold mace on shoulder. Three o'clock and Mr. King, the prime minister, his battered red-leather brief case and its awful secrets clutched under his arm, trots into the House with a cautious, bobbing gait, as if he were walking on eggs.

Three o'clock, the witching hour of Ottawa, and the chamber of gray stone and carved oak is hushed. The Speaker on his richly fretted throne awaits the government's word and the long lines of members at their desks lean forward expectantly. Three o'clock, question time in the House of Commons, when the people, through their representatives, may ask the government anything and generally get an answer.

Today, perhaps, the prime minister, fitting his be-ribboned

-79-

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The Unknown Country, Canada and Her People
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • My Country 3
  • Chapter One - Chez Garneau 6
  • Mother of Canada 21
  • Canadian Spring 43
  • Chapter Three - The Wood Choppers 46
  • Letter from Montreal to Young Lady With Violets 61
  • Chapter Four - Ville Marie 64
  • The Tower 77
  • Chapter Five - Three O'Clock, Ottawa Time 79
  • Leaves Falling, Dead Men Calling 107
  • Chapter Six - Made in Canada 110
  • The Ready Way to Canada 129
  • Chapter Seven - The Wedge 132
  • Mrs. Noggins 155
  • Chapter Eight General Brock's Bloody Hill 158
  • Winter 179
  • Chapter Nine - Wood, Wind, Water 182
  • The Names of Canada 209
  • Chapter Ten - Sailors' Town 211
  • The Queer Lady 219
  • Chapter Eleven - The Home Town 222
  • The Trees 231
  • Chapter Twelve - Fundy's Children 234
  • The Geese 247
  • Chapter Thirteen - The Frontiersman 249
  • The Canadian 269
  • Chapter Fourteen - The Men in Sheepskin Coats 272
  • Father's Plow 289
  • Chapter Fifteen - Drought and Glut 292
  • Never Go Back 309
  • She's Quiet Tonight 329
  • Chapter Seventeen - The Lotus Eaters 332
  • The Buckskin 351
  • Chapter Eighteen - Cariboo Road 353
  • Index 375
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